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    Q&A: What To Do When You Feel Like A Social Outcast

    Question:

    I consider myself socially awkward. I don’t have any close friends and I feel like an outcast. This is the story of my life and I don’t know what to do.

    Answer:

    My heart goes out to you because it seems like you’re really feeling some pain right now. It can’t be easy feeling this way! As I read your letter, I’m noticing two things. First, it seems like you may struggle a little with self-esteem. Second, it sounds like you don’t feel like you fit in with other people. So, let’s take a few moments to explore both of these issues.

    SELF-ESTEEM:

    It’s VERY IMPORTANT that you make a conscious decision to build your self-esteem. Remember, when you love yourself and place a high value on who you are, you’ll begin to act in a way that will draw positive people and experiences into your life. Here are some tips to help you improve your self-esteem:

    Prayer should ALWAYS be at the top of the list. Ask God to show you how to better love, like, and respect yourself.

    Remind yourself DAILY that you’re a part of the royal priesthood. This alone makes you very special! Recite scripture throughout the day to remind you of your value! A good one to use is this:“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14).

    Spend time enhancing your skills and doing things that you’re good at. God has given you gifts and talents for a reason! Not only will you please God by using your gifts, but you’ll be improving your confidence at the same time!

    Make changes in areas that you’d like to improve. We’re ALL works in progress because NO ONE has it totally together yet. Decide what you’d like to enhance about yourself and develop a plan of action to do it. However, don’t forget to love yourself as you are. You’ll get to where you want to be, but appreciate yourself along the journey.

    Don’t allow other people’s negativity to affect you. God makes everyone differently and sets each of us apart for our own special purpose.

    BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS:

    Friendships are very important to most people, which makes sense because God created us to enjoy interacting with others. It’s healthy to want to have friendships, so here are a few tips that might help in this area:

    Again, prayer should be essential in your life. Ask God to reveal ways to develop healthy friendships. Also, ask The Holy Spirit to increase your boldness so that you can overcome any shyness.

    Participate in group activities that you enjoy. The more that you’re around like-minded people, the more that you’ll naturally begin to build friendships.

    Make it a specific goal to interact with more people. If you’re on the shy side, you could start by just saying “hello” to people who seem interesting. Then gradually begin to introduce yourself to new people who share similar interests. The more that you practice this behavior, the more quickly you’ll develop the skill of meeting new people. Eventually, this task will become second nature to you and soon you’ll be making new friends.

    Don’t take on other people’s problems! If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, for whatever reason, remind yourself that it’s THEIR loss, NOT yours. Remember, even Jesus Himself and His disciples were rejected by some people. Many times people are struggling with their own issues and end up projecting those issues onto you and others. Don’t allow THEIR problems to affect who YOU are as a person. No matter what–remember your value!

    Are there any other suggestions?

    Written by Aysha Ives

    Aysha Ives
    Aysha Ives loves God with her whole heart and has a desire to help hurting people. With a Masters Degree in Psychology, she combines her education and experience with her love for God to help people live whole and fulfilled lives. Aysha is an Author, Mental Health Provider, Youth Church Teacher, and the mother of one gifted little boy whom she absolutely adores. Aysha is honored to be able to share her love of God with Project Inspired readers. Aysha is also the author of God Cares About Your Stuff: How To Believe For Tomorrow When Things Look Utterly, Completely, And Totally Impossible Today, released February 2013- Available at Amazon.

    23 COMMENTS

    1. I’ve been struggling with this since I moved to a new state 3 years ago. I had always been a little bit shy, but when I moved I suddenly lost all self-confidence. I try to build it back up, and it works for a little bit, but then it just falls back down. I really don’t know what to do anymore. I still keep trying, but it’s hard when every attempt ends up failing me in the end.

    2. Thank you so much for this Aysha! I actually was praying earlier today telling God how unimportant and worthless I was. I was begging God to help me…because I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere, with people younger, older or my same age. I feel like no one truly likes me. I feel like the gift God has given me, may not be good enough to do anything with. And, I know that’s wrong to think…because I’m, bringing God down when I say His gift to me isn’t good enough. But, I thank you so much for this! I will definitely remember this! 🙂

    3. I used to feel like I didn’t have a “best friend.” Because all my “best friends” had someone else who was their “best friend”, and I was just someone else that they talked to at school. But I kept hanging out with them and with time we grew closer and closer. So to you I would suggest not only making new friends, but trying to become closer to the friends you already have. Like the saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver, the other gold.” You can do this by spending quality time with them. Invite a friend to go do something fun, like go to the movies or go skating. And don’t think of yourself as “awkward” but think of yourself as unique. Embrace your personality and others will start to love it too! Seriously, being different is awesome!

    4. Girls, my advice is just to be yourself! And others will love you too! I know what it’s like to be a social outcast. I’ve always felt like one. But, I learned that if I just TRY to make friends and to BE a good friend, usually you will discover that you have more friends then you think! ;)’

      Being bullied sucks. I’ve been bullied so I know, but just keep leaning on Jesus!

    5. i have lots of friends, different genders & grades, but i feel socially awkward in some way because ive never had a boyfriend. i know this isnt the most important thing in the world but there are many girls at my school(somtimes younger than me) who have made out with guys and have had lots of boyfriends. AND IM NOT EVEN 15 YET! its crazy-sounding but i just feel awkward cuz some of my friends say its really wierd that ive never had a bf. im pretty and beautiful in my own way but i just dont know what to do! is this really God’s plan for me?!

    6. I feel the same way when I’m around the girls at my school! They’re nice to me, but I never feel like I fit in with them because most of my life I’ve hung out with guys! I’m glad that I still have my guy friends cause they’re great and now I have a couple good gal friends but it’s still difficult when you don’t fit in well :/

    7. I am the same way. All my life I’ve been so shy I couldn’t do anything without someone standing next to me, speaking for me. I still get like that sometimes. Most of the time I just walk around school with my head down (without even realizing it), hoping to be as invisible as possible. I can’t even raise my hand in class because I am always imagining worst case scenarios. I just can’t trust myself or other people But after reconnecting with God after YEARS of not speaking to even Him, I’ve felt a lot better. I’m still so shy I could pee my pants if I’m stuck in a crowd too big but at least now I can look at people’s faces when they talk to me. Slowly, I have been getting braver and braver. I still doubt myself but I know if I keep pushing myself to speak, one day I won’t have a problem. I know it is extremely hard to start and to learn how to love yourself but I know that if you pray to God for encouragement, courage, and love everything will be okay, I PROMISE. And another thing: Look at everyone around you. Are they really much different then you? Sometimes when I look at people I see popular girls who laugh with beautiful people but when I look at them at a different time, sometimes I can see them with the same problems I have. Girl, stop looking around for someone who looks like you. You will not find anyone. There is only one you. You are original and you can never be replaced. That makes you special and cool. You will find friends 🙂 You are only a social outcast if you let yourself be one.

    8. So true to anyone who feels unimportant and therefor socially awkward. When you pray, and show God you love Him, however it may be, it gives you a boldness and a love for other people. When you spen time loving God in your own way, His love rubs off on you.

      • I relate to this so much- the article caught my eye and I have been struggling- from alone at lunch to balling my eyes out to my mom about how lonely I am and how my friends have either randomly decided to move on or they’ve become too-cool-for-me and left. I have had some bad luck with friendships- they tend to be one-sided with me pulling all the weight. I want to target what the problem is-
        1)for some reason I attract people who are needy- I am really generous and am the counselor/shoulder to cry on friend. These people are only in it to get out from it- why would I expect them to ask how I am doing every once in a while? or call to hang out? etc. When I called for friends to hang out, a lot of the times they said they couldn’t for no reason- well, that is because they were probably in a good mood and had no reason to spend time with me then. There were lots of turndowns- this leads to #3…
        2)I don’t place much value on friendship- being lonely for a long time with no good friends lead to me being satisfied with solitude. #3, again, is the result:
        3)I am not motivated to call up friends in my free-time because i am tired of being rejected, i think reading a book is a better use of time—> no momentum in the development of the friendship

        • I am just like you, but i learnt to ignore the people who just use me and focus and making friends being me on my terms and friends who give.

    9. THIS. HELPS. ALOT.
      My best friend just got into a relationship. When we’re alone, I’m her best friend. But whne we’re around her bf, that’s immediately all she cares about. I automatically become a third wheel. One time, we were all together with two other people at a fast food place (they’re dating also) and I barely talked. I didn’t want to say it out loud, so i texted my best friend “feel a bit left out haha”. And knowing how she gets around her boyfriend, all she did was yell across the table “THEN TALK!” then immediately continued talking to her boyfriend. I talked to her about it on the phone and she told me she was really sorry. But I still feel a bit left out. I’ve always been the VERY different one. But after talking to my youth leader, and reading this article, I now know what to do. Thank you soo much!

    10. Since I got fully into God when I was 13, I have drifted away from a lot of friends… being lonely stinks, especially when you are an extrovert. I’m bold, and I talked to people and made plans with them, and acted like people should pay attention to me… and listened to them, but a lot of people that are “Christians”, are not really. It’s discouraging… and makes me want to give up. One thing I don’t do though is limit friendship by a persons age. Be friendly to everyone; some of my best true friends are “old”… like my parents age!

      • be yoursleve and let God be your best friend and ignore people who bring you down and just be happy and do what you like and people will just be attracted to you, it worked for me, stop trying you’ll only bring idiots into your life, people who think they can use you because you need them.

    11. listen to music that emphasise your self worth and know you are a queen you’re Gods child and to people who emphasise how wonderful you are and appreciate you, ignore people who put you down, abuse or betray you , move away from them as they are causing your low self esteem mentality. just simle and appreciate all God has goven you.

    12. Thank you so much for this article. Honestly, I would consider myself a social outcast. I’m not particularly comfortable around people and I’m terrible at making friends. I’m homeschooled too so that doesnt help much. And my parents are really tight with money right now so i can’t play sports or do any clubs because they are unable to pay admission fees or for gas to fuel the car to take me places. So I’m kinda in hole right now. But this article really cheered me up. I’m going to try and put into action the ideas here that I am capable of doing, so thank you very much. 🙂

    Project Inspired

    We here at Project Inspired want to guide and inspire teen girls to be true to themselves and to God. We want to show young girls how to be people of value and confidence – how to be your own best selves – through leading a Christian life. Who are we? We're a team of girls, like you. We edit the site, we post to social media, we hang out in the chat rooms and forums. We talk with you, we listen to you, and we love you!

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